What robots can do for you
European Commission - MEMO/14/386 03/06/2014
Other available languages: none
Brussels, 3 June 2014
What robots can do for you
Healthcare: less invasive and more precise surgery
In surgery, robotics can make surgery less invasive and more precise, thereby increasing a patient's survival outcome and reducing recovery time. As a result, robotics technologies can cut down the overall cost of medical interventions. In rehabilitation, robotic technologies offer the potential for more intensive therapies at reduced costs, again increasing the recovery potential.
Home care: helping elderly and disabled people
Assistance with simple physical tasks can help elderly people stay in their own homes for longer, improving their quality of life and deferring the costs of managed care. Improvements in robotics, especially perception, manipulation and grasping, will enable robots to undertake much more complex tasks and to assist humans with physical and cognitive deficits. Even within the context of managed care, appropriate use of robotic systems will allow a higher standard of care, assisting nurses who have to lift patients or heavy material.
Security: robots to the rescue
After earthquakes, accidents, avalanches or explosions, robots can take the place of their human teammates, cutting risk to human life and helping boost the chances of rescuing victims. The robots that are being developed will have powerful manipulation skills. They will be able to lift up collapsed masonry, walk and crawl over obstacles and through cluttered spaces, and be sturdy enough to operate tools like drills or cutters. They will be able to work autonomously or by remote control if communications are limited or unreliable.
Did you know that European remote-controlled robots helped clean up and repair earthquake and tsunami damage at the Fukushima nuclear plant? Robots can be the eyes and hands of human in dangerous or inaccessible places. Drones – or UAV for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – are more and more used in research and rescue operations.
Agriculture: doing arduous tasks on farms and increasing productivity
Starting at the farm, robotics is at the heart of precision agriculture, providing increased yields in a sustainable manner. Applying robotics and automation to the food chain, from farm to fork, allows much higher levels of traceability leading to greater consumer confidence. And at the same time, robotics in agriculture can improve the quality of life of workers, doing the most arduous tasks. Also the application of robotics and automation within food manufacturing makes local manufacturing more competitive, making shorter, local food supply lines economically viable for many food products.
Environment: cleaning waste, water and air
Green robots are a reality. Robotic fishes can analyse the waters they swim through, identifying chemical pollutants or leaks from oil pipelines in European harbours. Drones are used by scientists to monitor wildlife, from marine mammal populations in the Artic to orangutans in northern Sumatra. Robotic bugs may be the future of air pollution control. These tiny patrollers could purify airborne materials like cigarette smoke. Recycling is a very promising area for robotics. Robots collecting and selecting waste will be soon in our streets.
Transport: improving safety and efficiency
The move to smarter and safer personal vehicles arising from the implementation of driver assistance systems will help decrease accidents, injuries and fatalities. Autonomous cars will not only allow drivers to surf the internet on the move, they are expected to make better use of road space and improve traffic flows. Robotic technologies also underpin longer term developments in smart, integrated transport systems with on‐demand, autonomous public transport.
Entertainment: making great shots
Did you know that Hollywood’s blockbuster Gravity was filmed by robots? Robots can achieve an incredible level of precision, speed and coordination of movement. Entertainment robots and smart toys are also on the rise. They can be used at amusement parks but also for education purposes.
And many more!
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